Mohamed Al-Ghweil, a Libyan Presidential candidate, voiced the growing disillusionment among Libyans towards the United Nations Mission (UNSMIL) and its Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily.
He expressed concerns that Bathily’s approach “leans towards prolonging the current political stalemate, and shifting responsibility onto the Libyan people, rather than offering substantial initiatives to break the deadlock.”
Al-Ghweil criticized Bathily for “not engaging in meaningful dialogue with political parties,” pointing out that their interactions have “largely been superficial and protocol-driven.”
He also raised concerns that UNSMIL “missed the opportunity to register a significant number of Libyan voters following the tragedy in Derna, where communities came together in the aftermath of the incident.”
Al-Ghweil highlighted the failures of both the Security Council and UNSMIL, primarily due to the “mechanisms founded on power-sharing arrangements among constantly shifting conflict parties.”
He noted that Libyans have “lost faith in the UN Mission, particularly following the Security Council’s decision not to publish the report by the expert team, investigating corruption cases stemming from the Geneva meeting. This meeting led to the establishment of the Presidential Council, and the interim Government of National Unity.”
Concluding his remarks, Al-Ghweil urged Libyans “not to expect too much from the international community, or the divided Security Council.”
He emphasised that “civilians in Libya have paid a hefty price, with tens of thousands of victims, wounded, and hundreds of thousands of displaced individuals.”
The United Nations Security Council recently voted to extend UNSMIL’s mandate.
Last month, Libyan MP Abdel-Monem Al-Arfi accused Bathily of seeking to prolong the Libyan crisis, rather than resolve it.
In a press statement, Al-Arfi said that MP’s will demand Bathily’s removal from UNSMIL. “We await a consensus among the Parliament members to call for his departure from Libya,” he explained.
The MP further argued that UN Envoy’s have “turned into something akin to puppets.” He claimed that “what Bathily is doing currently will negatively impact the elections, given his rejection of the electoral laws.”
Al-Arfi also noted the confusion within the High Council of State (HCS), regarding the presence of Bathily. “We were surprised by the HCS Head, Mohamed Takala renouncing the agreement on the electoral laws.”
Adel Karmous, a member of the HCS, affirmed that Bathily is the “worst UN Envoy to Head UNSMIL.”
Karmous stated in a press release that “when Libyan parties reached a genuine consensus, they found Bathily obstructing it with baseless justifications and unwarranted remarks.”
He concluded by noting that “it is no secret that Bathily lacks the personality and courage to confront real contentious issues.”